Starting this transfer I think I`ve started to realize and accept that I don`t have much longer on my mission any more, and what that means. And what that means I need to do, or rather not do. I`ve definitely felt sneakily cruise control creeping in these past two transfers, and it`s super weird, but I don`t want it, and there`s nothing I love more at the moment than my mission, and the work I`m allowed to do here.
On Saturday the zone (about 30 missionaries) gathered in the Wuppertal Church building and we listened to the conference call from President Schwartz giving the announcements of who´s being transferred, for the last time. There will be a zone conference on June 25th to say bye to him, and another on July 1st to say hi to the President Stoddard. We´re not really sure if a lot will change with the coming of a new mission president, but I guess we´ll see. Right after the hour-long conference call we gathered everything we needed and went to one of the central squares of Wuppertal and did a street exhibition until 2 o´clock. It was great, definitely the best one I´ve ever done or been to. This week as a zone we gave out 108 Books of Mormon, 60ish being at the street display, and the best part was that there were a ton of ward members there too, not just missionaries, so they could get in the action and get excited about missionary work too.
With the transfer call, Elder Möller will be leaving, going to the Wiesbaden Zone in Koblenz (beautiful, beautiful, beautiful area. I know because the train to/from Frankfurt goes through there along the river, and there´s castles everywhere dotting the banks of the river), and I will be going down early on Wednesday to pick up and train another new missionary, a golden/greenie. I`m pretty excited that this will be my third time training, and the area is doing really well right now. Plus from the street display that just happened, there´s more than a dozen people for us to get in contact with and see if they want to take the lessons and learn more. It´s really sad that Elder Möller´s leaving, he and I get along pretty good, and he´s super funny, but as he says, "Adventure eases the blow of leaving a place you love".
~Elder Mark Standring
P.S. ...I`ve heard from other missionaries how surprising it is how early they get the email with their plane ticket home. I think it would be really good to get home soon enough for the semester because then I could do go to a semester with Kira, and also I don`t want to have to wait a long time with nothing to do before I go back to school.... I`d like to keep up my work ethic for school as much as possible.
President Schwartz said between September and October would be a good time to talk to President Stoddard about this, but I wanted to let you both know as well. I also asked him about the possibility of extending my mission until the spring semester and he said the MTC only allows extensions in very seldom cases.